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Quaker Culture: Impossibility

Do you see war as a giant, iniquitous, futile, unchristian system? Then hurl yourself against it, in full blindness to the seeming impossibility of the task. . . There are no impossibles to those who, in supreme dedication, are rooted deep in the Eternal Love.

On Control (July 2019)

A Gathering of Spirits (review)

Consider the major events of the first half of the Twentieth Century: two world wars, the Great Depression, Jim Crow, women getting the vote. What was happening in the Society of Friends in America during this time? That is the subject of A Gathering of Spirits: The Friends General Conferences 1896-1950, by Douglas Gwyn, as seen through the records of twenty-seven biennial conferences put on by the Friends General Conference (FGC), an organization born of the efforts of seven liberal-progressive yearly meetings. These conferences evolved into annual events in 1963, were renamed “FGC Gatherings” in 1978, and continue to convene annually, primarily on the East Coast. Gwyn uses the minutes, themes, and other available documents from each conference from 1896 to 1950 to trace FGC’s organizational development, to document the evolution of the social and political concerns of this group of American liberal Friends, and to provide a glimpse into the wider cultural influences that may have contributed to this evolution. He includes these wider cultural influences “… partly as a corrective to many Quaker histories that are written as if nothing came before Friends and nothing else was going on around Friends.” (p. xx)

On Control (July 2019)

On Neighbors

A lamb in a green pasture is like a kid in a candy shop, or a Friend in bookshop, or a teen at the mall, or a trader at the stock exchange. You’ll see agribusiness associates hectoring the lambs: “You’re so thin! You deserve more! Eat! Eat!” Then all the lambs will gambol around the pastures, nibbling on everything, hither and yon. But my shepherd makes me to lie down. So I lie in the grass and realize I don’t want anything.

On Neighbors (September 2019)

Expanding the Concept and Practice of Nonviolence (abridged)

The following text is an abridged version of a recently discovered, previously unpublished article. The full version is published online at: westernfriend.org/media/expanding-nonviolence

On Neighbors (September 2019)